Todd Greenberg's handling of the Ben Barba situation at the start of the season was considered by many to be the making of the Canterbury chief executive who has since risen to the post of NRL head of football.
But it may be looked back on as the moment that caused the downfall of one of the game's leading administrators and derailed the Bulldogs premiership campaign.
Just days before allegations that Barba had assaulted a woman resurfaced with the publication of a photo of her bloodied face in a Sunday newspaper, the 2012 Dally M medal winner admitted he had a fractured relationship with many of his teammates.
"I didn't expect them to all be happy when I first game back," Barba said in an extended interview with Fox Sports last Thursday after Canterbury agreed to release him to the Broncos next season.
"But there are some of the boys in the team that I am really close with that make you totally forget about the ones who I guess do have a problem with me."
Barba said no player had "confronted" him to say they had a problem with the star fullback but he admitted it "could be the case" that they didn't want to talk to him at all.
Asked if there was a specific incident that had changed his relationship with other Bulldogs players, Barba said: "I just think that what happened at the start of the season just really affected the way they went about me."
Since the decision by Greenberg and Bulldogs coach Des Hasler to stand by Barba while he attended a rehabilitation clinic for the first three weeks of the season there have been constant rumours of other Canterbury players not wanting to play with Barba.
Yet despite leading players at other clubs and Bulldogs insiders insisting the disunity at Canterbury was far more than just idle gossip, Greenberg and others at the club repeatedly denied it.
In fact, Greenberg refuted a series of rumours in a question and answer interview with Fairfax Media on April 20, including speculation that there was "disunity within the playing group" over Barba, with Frank Pritchard and Sam Kasiano said to have had fallen out with him.
However, many have observed since the start of the season that there has been "something not right" with last year's grand finalists and Barba's body language on the field has suggested he was not at ease with his teammates.
While they are fifth, the Bulldogs have never looked likely to threaten the top four teams - South Sydney, Sydney Roosters, Manly and Melbourne - and Barba has not been the match winner he was last season when he won the NRL player of the year award.
To be fair to Greenberg, Hasler and others involved in the decision on how to deal with Barba - including his partner Ainslie Currie, who has publicly maintained that she was never the victim of a domestic assault - they may have believed his welfare was a far more important issue.
Given what Fairfax Media has been told about Barba's mental state, Greenberg and Hasler may have deserved the praise they initially earned for putting the health of a player, who last week credited him with saving his life as well as his career, ahead of winning football games.
But in the process, they denied so many rumours - both on and off the record - that now appear to have at least some substance, while it had always seemed too easy for reporters to discover details of his alcohol and gambling problems.
By doing so and never fully explaining the reasons Barba was suspended from playing, the Bulldogs have created some other big problems for themselves and for Greenberg in his new role at the NRL.